by ParadiceNZ 

The next big small thing?

Indie development hero Markus “Notch” Persson (of Minecraft fame) today launched the website for the next game from Mojang studios.

Known as “0x10c”, here’s what we know: it’s a space simulator. It’s multiplayer (possibly massively multiplayer). It will have a monthly subscription fee. Every player has their own spaceship. So far, sounds good. But now it gets strange.

The backstory to the game is that people from 1988 accidently fell asleep for 281 trillion years… and have just woken up into a dead and dying universe.

Somehow, they each have spaceships (…it’s vague…). Each ship is equipped with a generator and a computer, which is a 16-bit technological marvel with 64KB of RAM (hey, I learned how to program on a C64! Awesome) running at 0.1Mhz.

The Computer

Here’s where the twist comes in. This computer is *fully programmable*, and Notch has even published the instruction set for the CPU (pretty simple, but not with any glaring flaws). If you’re willing and able to spend the time learning how to develop for this platform, the only limits are the memory and cpu speed. While 64KB doesn’t sound like much, a dedicated programmer can fit a LOT into this space. (Google “4k demos” to see what people can do with just 1/16th that space!).

One of the most intriguing things about Minecraft for me was the “redstone” system; people have pushed this to extremes (see this video Minecraft – Scientific Calculator) and this system promises to take that and make it 1,000 times more powerful, chuck it into an MMO world, and see what happens.

I can’t wait!!

Other bits

The website http://www.0x10c.com/ has been live for less than 24 hours, but Notch’s twitter has been extremely active, so we are picking up bits and pieces from there. So, what else do we know so far?

  • Looks like C418 (the musician behild Minecraft’s music) is onboard again
  • Notch himself doesn’t yet have a compiler for the programmable CPU, but it’s specs are here
  • Different players computers’ will be able to network to each other
  • There may be a single player mode, which won’t have any subscription fee
  • Duct tape is in the game, and will be able to fix *any* mechanical issue on the spaceship (for a limited time).
  • The spaceships can land on planets, and mining stuff will feature (homage to Minecraft, perhaps 🙂

One response to “0x10c

  1. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

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